"The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker   

Main menu

Return to Main Page

· About Association
· Events
· Statute of Association

Editorial staff
· About us
· Contact

· Transport

· Telematics dictionary
· Events
· Links
· Download



Artykuły :: Transport :: Conference papers

Pilot project of Czech railways traffic management centre
Michal BOLEK, Vlastimil POLACH
2007-05-31 15:18:24

Transport processes on corridor lines require a new style of traffic management. Remotely controlled interlocking systems and systems for decision making assistance for dispatchers significantly contribute to effective traffic operation. The implementation of information, communication and interlocking technology to the remote control of railway operation is both finance and time-consuming. It is not possible to equip perfectly only a part of system, it is necessary to create conditions for cooperation of particular devices and to keep their technical level at the same class. However the delegating of particular stations interlocking control to the traffic management centre brings a breakthrough in the effectiveness and quality of transport processes controlling.
Current requirements of infrastructure managers in the field of railway infrastructure operation could be characterized by these points:
• operativeness and flexibility of traffic management,
• speed increasing on main lines,
• sharing of infrastructure by modern passengers express trains with current passenger and cargo traffic on the railway infrastructure of the Czech Republic – non-segregated traffic,
• minimizing of personnel needs for controlling of particular station interlocking systems.

This complex of requirements can be operatively provided with the support of remotely controlled systems only. The implementation of new progressive technical devices allows fundamental rationalization steps, which lead to the effective traffic management. Traffic management centres (TMC) with remote control of electronic interlocking systems are a condition for maximal concentration and centralization of the railway traffic management – their synergic effect increases an aggregate productivity of railway traffic management. The concentration of controlling of particular intermediate and junction stations brings field tested advantages in traffic management – the bigger operability of station technological processes, the improve of train dynamics (this is especially important in the connection with speed increasing), a decrease of personnel needs etc.

A dispatcher, who has a good view of longer line section, can optimally decide about running technology of particular trains with respect to their priority and importance. There could be taken better advantage of coincident trains’ runs on railway lines with more tracks (banalization). There could be also minimized negative consequences of traffic locking more effectively. The possible delay on single-track line could be eliminated by appropriate rescheduling of train crossing.

Finding of an appropriate way of controlling of given section including staffing and implementation of complex of devices for decision-making support (e.g. train numbers transfer and Graphical and Technological Superstructure of interlocking system) is the crucial aspect. The connection of dispatcher with train drivers and work parties in track yard is the primary condition for complex use of remote control.

Just the control of continual line sections with the possibility of direct control of interlocking systems and the direct impact to train run brings the factual optimization of transport processes, because such management model only could include all transport elements.

Transport technology aspects of line section control from TMC are mentioned in material [3].

The dispatcher of remotely controlled system directly controls run of all trains (train traffic) on dedicated line section, controls remotely the interlocking system and he is responsible for compliance with principles of safe and economic operation. It means in praxis that there is cancelled one control element – railway traffic management at station level, because there arises the direct connection between traffic management at area (line) and operation of traffic (train driver, shunting master). So the system of traffic management is simplified.

Traffic management centres could be built at non-corridor lines also and so there could be managed train operation remotely and in larger areas. Just this type of traffic management is more effective in decision-making processes, because it could include all key transport elements. There are different technical systems for remote control, so there could be chosen the most suitable solution for each line [4].

There could be one traffic management centre for area of one infrastructure manager or there could be more of them. There are expected two TMC in the Czech Republic, in Prerov and in Prague.

SUDOP Praha elaborates a complex study Implementation of remote control on corridor lines [2] in years 2003/4. Because of existence of sufficient technical devices and positive experience with the remote control DOZ-1, there was decided to realize first TMC Prerov and the line Prerov – Breclav was chosen as a pilot project of TMC.

The line Ostrava – Přerov - Břeclav (except Přerov) is currently divided into ten controlled areas, which are equipped with system DOZ-1, it is so called sectional management. However, relatively small controlled areas (although there are equipped with remotely controlled system) do not solve traffic management with sufficient effectiveness. The concept of sectional management, particularly with view of speed increasing and with predicted growth of railway traffic intensity, has to be considered as an intermediate state. Need of remote control of larger areas is supported also by fact, that the interval of following ride of the fastest train behind the slowest represents travelling time of the fastest train through two open line sections. Critical sections in the view of insufficient interval of following ride are MoravskĂ˝ PĂ­sek – Bzenec Přívoz and Ostrava-Svinov – Polanka nad Odrou (in both directions).

The way of controlling of long line section must respect line and local transport technological processes. Remote control of stations with the big amount of technological work begs the question of application of partial remote control and staffing of dispatchers. There was decided after many conceptual dealings that the realization of partial remote control is not suitable because of operational and technical reasons.

The ability of dispatcher to manage dedicated area is next restricting factor. The psychologists of railway health service were involved in solving of this question. Ergonomists and architects comment on configuration and equipment of workplaces.

Connections with other workplaces involved in controlling process (dispatcher of a neighbour station on a branch line) must be also created. Entrance stations have to be equipped with terminal for train numbers input.

There could be centralized controlling of one or more controlled areas to each traffic management centre. The traffic dispatcher is a top manager for the operation in each area (or more areas). Dispatchers of remotely controlled systems (RCS) directly control the operation in dedicated part of controlled area and remotely control interlocking system. The number of dispatchers of RCS in service could be variable in relation of train traffic intensity. The number of workplaces for controlling of interlocking (workplaces of RCS dispatchers) has to be dimensioned to the maximal predicted intensity of train traffic and with consideration to the ability of RCS dispatcher to ensure controlling of dedicated section. Variants of personnel needs (dividing of controlled are into sections for each dispatcher) are set by the schedule.

So every hall of TMC is designed in accordance with controlled area size.

Relegating of some technical elements, responsibilities and devices for their controlling to the infrastructure dispatcher is a new trend. So the infrastructure dispatcher at TMC has a function of technical guarantor of devices for remote control, point heating, security of buildings, fire and other signalization. The RCS dispatcher is informed only about a technical problem, but he is not responsible for its solution and he is engaged only in operational management.

There has been created a new traffic management centre in station Přerov. The ground floor part of existing building at the corner of Tovární and Denisova Street at km 183,170 has been adapted for use of traffic management centre [1].

The whole technology of interlocking system and one traffic management hall for dispatching of Přerov – Břeclav line has been built there. The second hall is prepared for dispatching of Ostrava – Přerov line. Next halls for dispatching of lines CeskĂĄ TřebovĂĄ – Přerov, CeskĂĄ TřebovĂĄ – Brno, Brno – Břeclav, Přerov – Brno are prepared in concept.

The existing sectional control will be replaced by centralized one. Ten controlled areas will be configured newly as two controlled areas with remote control DOZ-1. The remote control of stations on whole line will ensure fast, smooth and safe train run and will give view of motion of trains in whole controlled area. The safe control, which enables stations without personnel, is used for controlling of Přerov – Břeclav line.

The system has to spare no efforts in keeping the operation in the case of any failure and has to help in looking for and removing of them. Second requirement with the same importance is the decrease of operational costs by saving of personnel, better organization of traffic and faster removing of failures and their consequences to the smoothness of train traffic.

The controlling system makes the work of dispatchers easier by executing of routine activities, collecting and processing of data for their work. The innovation in the remote control DOZ-1 is notably the turning of line consent in accordance with train route and the possibility of train route setting through more station by one command. The centre will be of course equipped with the train numbers transfer and Graphical and Technological Superstructure of interlocking system (GTN) with data connection to the information system for passengers.

The rise of automation by better forecasting of predicted transport and automatic route setting is planned ahead.

The large scale displaying of controlled area railyard (velkoploĹĄné zobrazenĂ­ - VEZO) will be the dominant of every dispatching hall. Its functions are:

• information scheme of railyard occupancy and motion of trains,
• indication of interlocking components state.

The line of auxiliary monitors for displaying of camera systems and data of passengers information systems will be located upon VEZO.
At the TMC are located:
• workplace of operational dispatcher,
• workplaces of RCS dispatchers,
• workplaces of operators,
• workplace of infrastructure dispatcher.

Workplaces of operational dispatcher and infrastructure dispatcher are (as a nonstandard solution, because of space reasons) located out of traffic management halls in separate room together with operational and infrastructure dispatchers of another controlled areas.

Arrangement of workplaces in two parallel rows (so called Swedish model) was rejected in the problem of TMC arrangement. A German model, where particular workplaces are in sectors and groups, has been proposed.

The groups of workplaces in TMC are arranged into three height-separated rows. Workplaces of local dispatchers, which control traffic in selected stations (esp. branch-off stations), are situated closest to the VEZO. The second group is composed of line dispatchers, which control line processes in whole controlled area. The last group are operators, which ensure information for dispatchers, operation of passengers information systems etc.

The equipment of particular workplaces with technical devices is written in the next section.

The workplaces are equipped with adequate communication technology, which is not subject of this article (see [1]).

The basic transport technological propositions for TMC Přerov - Břeclav are written in this section [1]:
1. Method of remote control – large branch-off stations inside controlled area are controlled as a whole, not by method of particular remote control of chosen through lines.
2. Technical devices of remote control – the system with possibility of emergency operations from TMC are used. It is system DOZ-1 with train numbers transfer both at TMC and locally at stations. The Břeclav – Přerov line is designed as a one controlled area.
3. VEZO usage – four panels of large-scale displaying of whole line (controlled area) – the relief on VEZO without command of interlocking from VEZO. VEZO is designed as independent unmanned workplace.
4. Method of railyard displaying - railyard displaying on VEZO and monitors in intentions of current standard.
5. Line dispatchers – two line dispatchers for controlling of transit traffic on main line Breclav – Prerov – line dispatcher north (Říkovice – Staré Město u Uherského HradiĹĄtě) and line dispatcher south (Nedakonice – HruĹĄky).
6. Local dispatchers – three dispatchers for controlling of selected stations (HodonĂ­n, Staré Město u Uherského HradiĹĄtě and Otrokovice + HulĂ­n). There is possibility to control any station in controlled area
7. Operators – two operators for controlling of passengers information and camera systems. The number of operators corresponds with number of line dispatchers including their areas.
8. Operational dispatcher – he could operate more controlled areas.
9. Infrastructure dispatcher – he is equipped with technological monitor of interlocking system, diagnostics LDS and radio-block terminal.
10. Structure of workplaces – workplaces of local and line dispatchers are structurally equal and fungible in DOZ-1. It allows controlling of whole controlled area by one dispatcher from any workplace. The administrative delegation of areas is determined by schedule.
11. Remote control monitors – technological monitor of interlocking system, two monitors with railyard display. There is possibility of switching to detailed view of station, there could be displayed any (also no neighboured) two stations of controlled area. The aim is to allow local dispatcher parallel shunting in two stations without necessity of display switching.
12. Information system for dispatchers’ decision-making support – Graphical and Technological Superstructure of controlled area with connection to the Intranet of Czech Railways for data exchange with another information systems of railway traffic.
13. Information about passengers trains departures – only for selected stations with many connected trains, which are HulĂ­n, Otrokovice, Staré Město and HodonĂ­n in case of Přerov – Břeclav line. There are displayed above VEZO.
14. Passengers’ announcement – automatically controlled by train run only for intermediate stops and stations, operator controls other.
15. Camera systems – they are displayed above VEZO, not at monitor on the table.
16. Sign-off from remote control - text statements are displayed only on workplaces, which are signed to remote control. There are not text statements on VEZO.
17. One list of train numbers on line track – the train number closest to the track enters station in direction of line consent as first.
18. Train route setting through more stations (on main tracks) by one command. The system sets possible continuous route from the beginning in the case of conditions nonfulfilment.
19. Line consent switches automatically with setting of train route provided that conditions of interlocking system for line consent switching are fulfilled.


The effective railway traffic operation is among others conditioned by its management quality, especially by direct (operational) one. The centralization of traffic management and interlocking system control is not a new idea. However realization of TMC for controlling of large areas brings together new possibilities, approaches and requirements for technical devices, traffic technology and control and personnel.

Two dispatcher centres are reflected in process of national concept of corridor lines control creation, in Prerov and in Prague. The Přerov – Břeclav line on 6th trans-European corridor was chosen as a pilot project of remotely controlled interlocking system and TMC.

[1] Studie SUDOP Praha: DĂĄlkové ovlĂĄdĂĄnĂ­ zabezpečovacĂ­ho zařízenĂ­ v Ăşseku Přerov - Břeclav. SUDOP Praha, 2005, (in Czech)
[2] Studie SUDOP Praha: NasazenĂ­ dĂĄlkového ovlĂĄdĂĄnĂ­ a řízenĂ­ na koridorovĂ˝ch tratĂ­ch. SUDOP Praha, 2003, (in Czech)
[3] POLACH V.: ŘízenĂ­ dopravy na koridorovĂ˝ch tratĂ­ch – provozne-technologickĂĄ studie. AĹ˝D Praha, 2002, (in Czech)
[4] POLACH V., DiviĹĄ A.: Systémy dĂĄlkového ovlĂĄdĂĄnĂ­ staničnĂ­ho zabezpečovacĂ­ho zařízenĂ­. NovĂĄ ĹželezničnĂ­ technika, 4, s. 146-148, (2002). ISSN 1210-3942, (in Czech)


Michal BOLEK, Vlastimil POLACH
AŽD Praha

Log In



Sign Up

Forgot password

New articles